More than 6 million people will buy homes this year and, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, nearly three-quarters of them will use a mortgage to help finance the purchase.
Add that to the millions more that will home loan refinance this year and it makes a whole lot of consumers in search of mortgage financing.
When shopping for a mortgage, of course it's important to get a competitive mortgage interest rate, but you also want to have a professional and conscientious mortgage lender working by your side.
You may not know the difference between a "good" mortgage lender and a "bad" mortgage lender until you've had the chance to work with both, but there can be some telling signs.
Here are five things that great mortgage lenders do for their clients.Click to see today's rates (Aug 24th, 2016)
It is impossible for a mortgage lenders to provide an accurate mortgage quote without collection some information from you. Impossible.
Therefore, you should expect a good lender to ask you about your credit rating, how long you expect to own the home, your plans for the home (e.g.; vacation, rental, primary residence), and the property type you expect to purchase (e.g.; condo, duplex, single family home, etc.).
A great lender will then take your answers and use them to offer multiple mortgage options that make sense for your needs.
What mortgage program should you choose? A great lender can help.
By contrast, a bad mortgage lender will provide you with the rock-bottom advertised rate to get you in the door, and give you the bad news that you don't qualify for that particular fate later. Or, they'll try to sell you the only loan program that they understand.
A great lender will take the necessary time to explain what each of your loan options means.
Knowledgeable mortgage pros know their industry and their products well -- well enough to explain them in layperson's terms.
This is what you need.
As the homeowner, you are responsible for every document that you sign and even the newest consumer-friendly mortgage disclosures can be confusing at first glance.
Speak up! A great lender wants you to understand what you're signing.
By contrast, a mortgage lender that hides behind a load of jargon may not actually understand the terms that are being thrown at you. Yes, even licensed loan officers can have gaps in their education.
As a borrower, avoid any mortgage lender who drawls something to the effect, "Yes, your rate was 3.95 percent, but now there's a 25 bip add-on because the doc draw went sideways and we blew the lock."
Editor's Translation: "I am sorry, but your original mortgage rate of 3.95% is no longer available to us because we tried to prepare your paperwork for closing and found an error. During the time it took to correct that error, our commitment to your mortgage rate reached its expiration, so we're going to raise your rate by a quarter-percentage point -- take it or leave it."
Great mortgage lenders know that their biggest asset is their reputation, and each will go the extra mile to make you happy as the customer.Click to see today's rates (Aug 24th, 2016)
Experienced mortgage bankers and brokers have learned to expect the unexpected. They have experience dealing with "glitches" and glitches are more common than you think.
The mortgage program you need was discontinued? A great mortgage lender will find an alternative.
An underwriter wants the scoop on a batch of credit inquiries? A great mortgage lender will help you write a letter of explanation.
Documentable mistakes on your credit report? A great mortgage lender will do a rapid re-score to help you sort it out.
Failing to close a loan on time can be costly. A borrower could lose their mortgage rate lock, or even the home they wanted to purchase.
When the going gets tough, bad mortgage lenders quit returning calls. Great mortgage lenders move heaven and earth to hold up their end of the bargain.
Everyone has a preference when it comes to communication and a great mortgage lender will communicate according to your preference -- whether it's email, a text, or a call to your home, cell or office.
A great mortgage lender will touch base with you throughout the mortgage process and return your calls, your emails, and your texts promptly.
Bad mortgage lenders, by contrast, make chasing new clients a higher priority over serving the clients they already have.
Just because you can get approved for a specific loan amount doesn't mean that you should.
If you can technically afford a $400,000 mortgage, but the potential payment makes you light-headed, a great lender will find a way to make you more comfortable -- a smaller loan size, a different mortgage program, or perhaps can offer some budgeting help.
A bad lender, on the other hand, will push you into the higher loan amount because he or she doesn't understand the long-term value of a satisfied client; and has little regard for your needs.
When you work with a great lender, the priority is making sure that you, as the borrower, are comfortable and confident with your payment.
There are hundreds of thousands of mortgage lenders nationwide and many of them are excellent -- but not all of them. The great ones distinguish themselves clearly.
Get today's live mortgage rates now. Your social security number is not required to get started, and all quotes come with access to your live mortgage credit scores.Click to see today's rates (Aug 24th, 2016)
The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.
Sarah M. Office Manager
The Mortgage Reports has been an invaluable resource to me -- it helped me to pick the sweet spot to refinance. Thanks!
Ricardo P. Project Manager
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Mohammed Y. Retired
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2016 Conforming, FHA, & VA Loan Limits
Mortgage loan limits for every U.S. county, as published by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)